Toronto won the only other meeting this season against the Lakers with Kawhi Leonard on the bench (rest). This time, Serge Ibaka will be the one on the bench serving his suspension for Monday night’s fight.
The Lakers, however, will be severely depleted with Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram done for the season, Tyson Chandler out, and Lance Stephenson day-to-day.
But the biggest issue for the Raptors will not be the Lakers roster. It will be finding the motivation to win. They are all but locked into the No. 2 seed in the East. Their remaining schedule is not very difficult. They are going to be more concerned with no one getting hurt the rest of the way than winning.
That being said, they are still the better team by far, and really shouldn’t have any trouble beating the Lakers. The only question should be how much they will win by (which is a lot harder to answer).
Spread: Raptors by
Toronto is going to win, but they are not going to blow the Lakers out. But if the spread is under ten, expect Toronto to cover it. If it is over, the Lakers will win against the spread.
The Lakers scored 123 points Tuesday night against the Bulls but can’t be expected to do as well against an excellent defensive team like the Raptors. Toronto is going to score enough to win, so unless the over/under is ridiculously low (i.e., under 220), take the under.
Money line: Raptors; Lakers
This game will be more competitive than expected, but the outcome will not be a surprise. Take Toronto to win.